The Nortel acquisition, on the heels of important breakthrough contract wins for Ericsson in North America, positions Ericsson as the leading provider of telecommunications technology and services in the United States and Canada.
"Separately, our two companies played leading roles in freeing voice telephony from its fixed limitations," said Hans Vestberg, Ericsson’s incoming president and chief executive officer. "Together, we will do the same for broadband - make it mobile and bring the benefits of high-speed data connectivity to the majority of the world’s population".
"This deal, along with our recently announced services and LTE agreements, demonstrates the importance of the North American market to Ericsson. Our strength in the region proves to our global customers that we are capable of continuing to provide the best equipment and services, in a scaleable and efficient way," said Vestberg.
In terms of sales, North America will now be Ericsson’s largest region. According to Angel Ruiz, head of Ericsson’s North American operations, the acquisition significantly expands Ericsson’s footprint in North America, particularly as the region is emerging as an early adopter of LTE technology.
"Ericsson will enjoy new access to North American CDMA customers and can better support CDMA networks that will transition to LTE, "said Ruiz.
In addition to the talented people Ericsson gains through the combination, it will also benefit from intimate knowledge of Nortel’s CDMA customers and their networks. In turn, these operators gain a stable partner committed to the ongoing evolution of their networks, and the assurance of a seamless transition.
"I look forward to working with the more than 2,500 highly skilled colleagues in North America and China arriving from Nortel," said Magnus Mandersson, president of Ericsson CDMA Operations. Combined with the transition of employees in the recent Sprint deal, Ericsson now has some 14,000 employees in North America, making it the company’s second largest market based on number of employees.
The acquisition includes the transfer of important CDMA contracts with North American operators including Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Bell Canada, Telus and Leap, as well as LTE assets, certain patents and patent licenses relating to CDMA and LTE. Nortel’s customers will also benefit from the continued support of Nortel’s installed CDMA base and the migration path to LTE.
The closing follows the announcement on July 25, 2009, that Ericsson was entering into an asset purchase agreement of USD 1.13 b. for these assets, subject to approval by the United States and Canadian Bankruptcy Courts and the satisfaction of regulatory and other conditions.
The former Nortel staff will be integrated into the Ericsson group over the coming months and the entity will work under the Ericsson brand.
The results for these operations will be consolidated by Ericsson on a pro-rata basis from the closing date proportionally within segments Networks and Professional Services. The report for the fourth quarter 2009 will be the first accounts including the new entity. [November 16, 2009]
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